Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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candy floss dryer

dry things with little energy usage
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Hand dryers in public places use energy or materials. Either you throw away paper towels, or you waste electricity heating up air.

How to reduce this energy usage?

A hand dryer that works like this: a big absorbent fluff ball on a stick. You stick your hands in and it wicks the moisture away. It has a lever on the side which you can pull, and the fluff gets pushed through a thin metal tube, squeezing out all the moisture into a drain. You pull the lever back up, and the fluff ball re-emerges dry.

Now this is great, but that fluff is going to get pretty dirty. So: your end of the bargain: special membrane gloves that you wear that let water through, but nothing else. You can keep these clean however you like, and they protect your hands from the possible murkiness of the candy floss dryer.

You could also get different sizes of fluff ball, and special membrane bags for all sorts of things that you might want to dry using a communal facility.

These would also look cool.

conskeptical, Jul 02 2007

AirBlade http://gadgetopia.com/post/5928
Similar to the posted idea, but without absorbent pad. Or gloves. Or lever. [MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 03 2007]

[link]






       What happened to all the annotations?
Texticle, Jul 03 2007
  

       Idea owner deleted them, as is their right. I reckon they didn't think the criticism the annotations expressed was warranted.   

       I'm not really sure what to make of it - this is so far beyond anyting that would be practical or realistic that I didn't think the author expected to be taken seriously.
jutta, Jul 03 2007
  

       So...Unhygenic
cpf, Jul 03 2007
  

       Sort of a big hand drying Dandelion, only these are in reverse? Wishful thinking.
skinflaps, Jul 03 2007
  

       /and the fluff ball re-emerges dry./   

       Surely it would be damp - similarly so to the dampness pre-squeezing. Squeezing only removes water if the item is sopping wet to begin with. Thereafter, absorption and evaporation come to the fore.
Texticle, Jul 03 2007
  

       For an energy-saving fast hand-dryer, see link.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 03 2007
  

       If you've got gloves that let all of the moisture through, then surely you put them on, all of the water passes through, you take them off and wring them out. No fluff needed.
david_scothern, Jul 04 2007
  

       Wouldn't it be easier to just wear gloves that keep the dirt out in the first place?
MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 04 2007
  

       perhaps this would be better suited as a towel-replacement for airy home bathrooms (no touchable parts for communal use seems much more sensible, the airblade looks good), the membrane gloves are clearly a bit contrived.   

       But various of the points are unfair:   

       1) squeezing is designed to change the 'sopping-point', the harder you squeeze, the more moisture is removed. A very compressible (but strong) fluff can be squeezed a lot, removing a lot of moisture, but you'd need mechanical assistance to get the maximum drying.   

       2) When the fluff is unsqueezed again, the remaining dampness can easily be evaporated on the air. (requires reasonable ventilation, and fluff that doesn't become stuck to itself when wet, which sounds possible)   

       3) Gloves that only let moisture through are not the same as gloves that only let moisture through in one direction. The former is easy, the latter is not!   

       4) Wearing gloves all the time is not comfortable. But the gloves were a mistake anyway.   

       I don't understand why you think this is so whacko. The main design flaw is the idea that anyone would want to wipe their hands on something that everyone else had, everything else seems reasonable to me.
conskeptical, Jul 08 2007
  

       //fluff that doesn't become stuck to itself when wet, which sounds possible//   

       It is probably not possible. If you want the fluff to be absorbent, then you want a low interfacial tension between the fibres and water. This, in turn, will also encourage the fibres to stick together, adhesed by an interstitial film of water. The interstitial water will try to reduce its own surface area, which it can best do by pulling the fibres together - ie, clumping them.   

       For the fibres to be non-clumpy, they would need to be hydrophobic. In this case, they won't absorb water.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 08 2007
  

       Why fluff? Seems far more troublesome than an absorbent cloth would be, if only such a thing existed.
Texticle, Jul 08 2007
  

       So you need a substance that is hydrophilic in one environment (hanging out in the air) and hydrophobic in another (inside the wall mounted box). I can see that as possible. Perhaps with heat, or ultraviolet light, which would also serve to sterilize the substance.
Galbinus_Caeli, Jul 09 2007
  
      
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